WWSP's Shadow of th Marigold

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

David's phrase about a collaborative group (think Beatles, think Dylan and the Band) aligning their intentionality: "somersaulting into the inconceivable." Black Forest is a glimpse into how a group working together (dropping egos) can open a door.

Simple tasks take on new meaning: hammering, sweeping, painting; purity of purpose, work becomes cleansing. Humble before the energy, humble before the dawn.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Slept like a dead man. No dreams, a long silence.

Today, a double life. Juggling my day job activities (phone calls, talk, talk, talk) and set-building chores (schlepping, sweeping, moving walls around in new configurations).

The reality: dust, clutter, darkness, wood and paint. The vision: a new creative space.

Reality: mundane details of my life. The vision: creative intentionality of a life.

Everything has a double nature.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Met with the Black Forest creative team yesterday. Set-building for the new piece starts today. We are claiming a 'sacred space' for our creative collaboration. This is the 'good work,' the team (Carla, David and I) understands that this effort is expansive, soul-enhancing.

The whole process is kenosis in action: giving ourselves to the process, emptying ourselves, for pure creative intentionality. Plus, basically, it's a rock and roll kick. There's no money in it, which makes it almost out of touch, out of time, an alternate reality.

Playing the Master Thief, perhaps I will 'unlock it.'

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Something was calling me this morning...maybe it was the coffee pot, 'wake up, fill me up!' Brewed up a little 'sweet love blend.'

I flicked on the radio and listened to Cosmologist and Quaker (one must 'quake' before god) George Ellis talk about 'kenosis' a greek word meaning to 'empty oneself' or to 'give oneself up.' Ellis believes that like the laws of physics, like mathematics, ethics (god) is embedded in the universe. Echo of Dylan's 'sanctity of nature.'

God is not invented by man, but discovered. Proof: all great religions (developed at different times/places) describe the same phenomena.

Human beings can live beyond 'the calculus of rationality' and embrace faith, hope, charity. Ellis is a South African who points to Mandela, Biko, Desmond Tutu as human beings who helped lead the country to a peaceful transformation. Rationality pointed to revenge, destruction, complete war: this had been transended, transformed.

We can not change history, but we can change the meaning of history.

Kenosis asks us to forgive, to sacrifice ourselves for another.

Paradoxes: weakness and suffering lead to strength. One must empty oneself in order to be filled.

I embrace the rosy fingered dawn.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Went to Michael Moore's 'Farenheit 911' last night. All shows on Friday sold out. Can't say I went in with an open mind, wore my 'Late Show' hat with 'Bush Evil Doer' pin attached.

The movie is convincing and 'true,' and shows that the 'war on terrorism' is a war of fear unleashed on the American people. The Bush Cabal driven by two of the seven deadly sins, greed and pride. Poor men and women from USA, fight battles against the poor of the world. Why Iraq? Oil = MONEY. So simple.

Bush's constituency: 'the haves and the have mores.' USA is not only addicted to free flow of oil, but to rampant, unbridled greed. The average Joes, the poor people, just kind of get in the way.

Moore is wealthy too. His saving grace is that he identifies with the underdog, the poor, working classes. Class warfare. Feed the poor they call you a saint, ask why people are poor, they call you a commie.

There are laughs, primarily at Bush's inarticulate arrogance. Does the laughter let the audience 'off the hook'? The last word: Neil Young's blistering version of 'Rocking in the Free World.'

Can art transform us? Can recognizing our flawed, humble, humanity save us?

Friday, June 25, 2004

Insubstantial, invisible. So much of what I do has no 'substance.' My 'day job' consists of monologue, soliloqy, dialogue: speaking, listening and responding. I have learned that I can't/don't make things happen. Instead, I conjure a vision and hope that my vision corresponds to another's. If not, I bump up against unforseen realities and then I must adjust, recalibrate. Basically, my job is to anticipate the unforseen, and make it part of my vision.

This takes a lot of energy, and it's hard to mark progress, but in some ways, this is a perfect job. It corresponds to my passion: writing plays. I'm throwing pictures out into the world. Once they're out, they have a life of their own, and then they disappear.

It's the 'flow and transformation of energy.' It is very liberating to 'know' what I do. The goal is to be free: of guilt, of fear, of pride. To be open to the world. Must be humble, like the rock, the drop of water, the leaf, as it falls from the tree to the ground.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Random bursts from the front:

1. Camp Alpha now sits upon the bones of ancient Babylon. Soldier's boots trample down the walls of Babylon. The Tower of Babel crumbles under the weight of trailers and tents. The well-armed 'infidels' obliterate ancient archeological treasure.

2. Happiness: is it bad for society? A 'study' seems to show that happy people are just as nasty as angry people. Both tend to stereotype others. It looks like the really nice people are the 'sad ones.' Humility makes the saint.

3. In China, the desired state is neutrality: neither satisfied, nor unsatisfied.

4. Ambrose Bierce's 'Devil's Dictionary': happiness is an agreeable sensation arising from the contemplation of another's misery.

5. Made a long trek to the south side yesterday. Listened to two of Dylan's 'lesser works' there and back. A true poet, a constant inspiration. He is an old black crow, both Heckyl and Jeckyl casting sparks both light and dark. "I'm in love with the ugliest girl in the world..."

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Scientists examine 'why we do it.' Evolutionary biologists tell us our selfish genes exist to replicate. Others say the ultimate quest is for food. Darwin tells us that the struggle for existence has led to the production of the higher animals, which includes...us.

Now a new book (Why We Do It: Rethinking Sex and the Selfish Gene) tells us it's all economics, although, in this conception, economics means 'energy transfer and flow throughout an ecological system.'

Example: An elephant on the African savanna consumes huge quantities of grasses, absorbing the energy to live, which includes producing large piles of dung, which dung beetles turn into soil nutrients, which feed plants on which elephants graze. Nice system.

This sounds good, taken one step further, beyond ecology, it validates the idea that every being; man, rock, ocean, star is simply another manifestation of energy. All activity physical and mental, is 'transfer and flow.' So the things we do, the things we create, all of our activity, from the cradle to the grave and beyond, is an ever transforming flow of energy.

All of our intellectual and creative products (music, books, plays, paintings, architecture, etc.) are concentrated energies. They live and die, transform and flow.

That's a universe that I can live in. Mysterious, strange. Anything seems possible. We are not isolated individuals but manifestations of energy working to transform in a million different ways.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Yesterday was all ominous, dark foreboding. Lost in a forest of anxiety and confusion. One of Dante's circles of hell. Turns out, everything was fine. Came home late, made a portabello mushroom sandwich, crashed out for a long, fitful sleep.

This morning the black fog has lifted. Not sure whence came the storm.

My fate is in the hands of the gods. I touch bottom and float back to a happy, expectant, optimism. Energy is eternal delight. Chalk it up to my killer 'witches brew.'

"One more cup of coffee 'fore I go, to the valley below."

Monday, June 21, 2004

Dark Morning.
Dark thoughts.

Light morning.
Light thoughts.

Empty, expectant today.

Question: (as per Neil Young) Can I turn pure bullshit into gold?

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Yesterday, went to press on my new play, now entitled, 'Free Henry Goodbar, Telepath.' I had seen this line on a sandwich board, worn by a scruffy looking character, on a trip to New Orleans.

The best material comes from looking, listening; the more you look and listen, the more you see and hear.

This new work will be a real challenge to embody. In an odd state; hesitant, standing on the shoreline, waiting to take the plunge.

I am in an unsettled frame of mind. There is an essential emptiness waiting to be filled. What comes next?

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Went to see Nicholas Ray's "Bitter Victory," last night at the Siskel Center. A young Richard Burton plays an officer in the British Army, World War II, the desert of Libya. Strange, unsettling. Echoes of the desert futility of today.

The film seems to be telling us: war makes cowards of us all; those who kill and those who don't. No heroes, no villians, just humans projecting their prejudices, their fears upon the world. To live, to kill, to die, is human.

Strange forebodings. To be in the world, but not of the world. How to embrace the world with compassion and at the same time find calm detachment?

Change is the ocean we swim in, the ocean that never changes.

Friday, June 18, 2004

New running shoes...new wings to fly.

As per Merton, the 'real' journey is an interior one.

Long sleep. Dreamed I was acting in a play, one that I wrote, big production, capacity audience and I did not know one word of the text. Behind the curtain, frantically paging through the script, looking for the key, for some clue to what it was about, of what I was to say.

My moment came, I improvised some lines. My fear of failure came across as a focused intensity. I stumbled through the scene. Afterwards, people praised my smouldering performance. Brandoesqe. Shades of James Dean. I was shaken, clueless, unfulfilled.

I bathed in the light, and the light had blinded me.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

"All around the world, people talk about the weather..." Yes, well, today: dark, cloudy, rainy, patchy fog. Must remember that the weather is not a judgement, not a sentence.

Last night bought a new pair of running shoes, ASICS, Japanese brand, made in Korea. Sleek, aerodynamic, pure white. Looking for a smooth ride. Extra spring in my gait. Hope springs eternal.

Is it the shoes? Is it the man?

It's the man, I know it's the man.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

A reluctant blogger this morning. Empty, clear. The sun is hiding. Green ivy on the wall out my window is luminous. Alone with the birds this week. Sink a little deeper into my skin. Aloneness opens new windows and doors.

Tony Hendra's 'Father Joe' hit me like a sledgehammer last night. 'When the father laughs at the son and the son laughs back at the father, that laughter gives pleasure, that pleasure gives joy, that joy gives love, and that love is the holy spirit.'

After such a long journey Tony brings his infant son to meet the old monk. The child laughs, the old monk smiles, the hard world dissolves into a secret world of joy and love.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

A good sleep is rejuvenating. Bukowski's title in my head this morning: 'All the days run away like wild horses...'

Reading Tony Hendra's book, "Father Joe." Funny, touching, full of wisdom. Tony is a 'satirist' who wants to change the world with laughter. Father Joe is his anchor, his touchstone.

Father Joe, a Benedictine monk who embodies: detachment, grace, unselfishness. "There are two types of people in the world, those who divide people into two types... and those who don't." So much trouble in the world...throw my lot in with those 'who don't.'

I'm in my 'monk' phase. Finished Merton's inspiring "Seven Storey Mountain," last week. To be alive to the spirit transforms everything.

This is the good work, just like slogging through the day to day. Work done with joy, dedication, is a form of prayer...yes, a secret, simple, truth.

Monday, June 14, 2004

The world keeps turning. Once you get on, there's no stopping the forward movement.

Running along the lakefront; Lake Michigan, a massive, brooding body of water, it occurs to me that the lake is a mirror of the sky, I, a mirror of sky and water.

Moods range from smooth, crystal-blue, placidity to a violent, muddy gray. Each day distinctly different. Sometimes the difference is so subtle, its almost imperceptible.

This is how one grows old.

Must not cling to the moment, (fat, red, sun breaking across the water) which reveals an orange/pink glow promising love and grace always.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

This morning: a yawning, hollow, silence.

Can this be all?

Not very satisfying, but it will do.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

'Hello darkness, my old friend...' Started the morning with songs from a distant past, which seemed to open up a portal to a more 'innocent' time. Simon and Garfunkel are old men now, me too.

I remember sitting, in my room, in the dark, 12 or 13 listening to WCFL on my little transistor radio ...'homeward bound, I wish I was, homeward bound...' The radio transmitting directly to my ear, words and notes, resonating somewhere deep inside.

I feel a loss, a loss of another version of myself, the quiet, shy, kid who wanted to 'be kind, be good.' Not chasing after anything, just letting the world come to me, in melody, harmony, softness and joy.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Over the radio waves this morning: 'he was a man of flaws.' Seems this could be said of anyone. I think the flaws must be recognized, accepted, incorporated, transcended. How to do it? That is the question we carry with us, like a friendly hump, (hump? what hump?) on our journey on the 'human highway.'

Spiritual alchemy asks us to turn those glaring, loathsome, silly, flaws into unique, glistening, heroic, profound/funny strenghs.

I'm thinking of the little tics, quirks, and contradictory qualities that make us 'individual.'

Lennon's razor wit and sarcasm, Dylan's blistering rage and clarity, Neil Young's mournful noise and shadow. All the crooked teeth, crooked smiles, crooked walks on crooked paths.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Up before the sun. The time, between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., is a silent oasis, a secret interval.

Still thinking of the dead deer I saw on the trip back from Detroit. So soft, so vunerable, so touching in their twisted 'deadness.'

They reminded me of the two deer I saw running through the suburban, Evanston neighborhood one morning on my run. They were running across the freshly manicured lawns on a quiet street. They were large, beautiful, spooky.

It was early morning, there were a few other people out and about. No one else seemed to notice them. I was stunned, it literally took my breath away to encounter such wild, graceful, beings in such 'normal' circumstances. They were quick, they danced past the houses, and before I knew it, they were gone. I was sure they were some kind of magical gift or omen. I carried them with me for days. I took them as evidence of a secret realm which co-existed with the mundane reality where we spend most of our time.

I wanted to keep this other realm with me, inside, always.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Very creaky this morning. It's amazing how a little variation in my routine can throw me off.

Notes from a Road Warrior: The long miles to Detroit cleared the cobwebs from my head. A nice Korean-made car: Sonata. Smooth ride, great music on the cd player, sunny, hot, humid, weather.

Lunched at the 'Cracker Barrel.' Tiptoed around the heavy American cuisine. 'A chef salad, hold the meat, hold the croutons.' Stayed at a Holiday Inn near the airport. Strange mannequins in the lobby. What is the meaning? Clean, antiseptic, white-bread corporate culture.

Downtown Detroit, big, ugly, concrete: one big parking garage, an in-between, nether zone. Where's the 'main event?'

Sensor show: technology evolving in thousands of directions. What new world are we making?

Long ride back: Beatles music carried me in an exuberant haze. Three dead deer on the side of the highway. Strange, twisted creatures. They are so otherworldly. Silent, soft, magical bodies, meet a cold auto-reality. Every dead creature an accusation, a diminishment. There but for the grace of god go I?

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Blogging late today. Went to a 'Sensor' show in Motor City. Drove up yesterday, drove back this afternoon. Burned out from miles of road.

Discovered that there is a sensor for every phenomena. Motion, vibration, torque, temperature, humidity, gases of various types. Of all the sensors, my favorite: illumination. I'd like to get some for myself.

Monday, June 07, 2004

To be human, is to misunderstand and to be misunderstood. Living in the 'context of no context.'

Looking for the calm center of clarity. I see flashes, but the vaunted clarity, skitters out of reach like a million little fishes.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

On the verge? In the breech? On the cusp of some significant movement? Or is it simply a 'slow becoming?' So slow, its almost imperceptible?

Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day. Dutch Reagan has died.

Gorbachav, Thatcher, the Pope all old now, old then, still alive. Reagan's voice on the radio, opens doors to another time, doors to another self.

Opinions, thoughts, fluid and changing. Want to honor the 'good', the 'god of my heart.' To live with love. This is the way to change myself, change the world, but also to anchor the spirit.

The calm, unchanging center of clarity, in order to see and appreciate the constant, changing chaos of the world. Not to act/react from fear or hate, to move only with love and a pragmatic, realistic optimism. Always dancing in the light.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Empty this morning. Kind of like a blank chalk board.

Went to a 'true majority' event last night. Met Ben Cohen from Ben & Jerry Ice Cream fame. Ben seemed to be an 'enlightened being.' He was funny, grounded, his ten-point agenda includes feeding the children of the world, taking care of the environment, having government spend sensibly, taking some money from the military monster and applying it to more constructive priorities, etc.

Hard to believe anyone would be against such a program. Hard to believe that in this 'war on terror' climate, that our politicians will listen or enact.

I left slightly deflated, thinking that the 'movement' is a disparate collection of issues with no solid foundation, no cohesive philosphy. Talking to the 'faithful' revealed that fear seems to be the motivating spirit. Fear of the 'evil bush,' and all his misguided plans. Ben's quiet, bemused demeanor was the exception. Ben has decided that 'ridicule' is an effective tool, but it seems to be a pale echo of the audacity of Abbie Hoffman/Jerry Rubin yippie antics.

How do you translate Ben's quiet glow into an effective movement?

The most hopeful point: the internet has emerged as a new superpower of minds transcending all borders. This 'superpower' can stand toe to toe with U.S.A. No armies, but many, many hearts, and minds.

Can a 'new spirit' emerge from the net?

Friday, June 04, 2004

Slow to blog this morning. Dreamed Ringo Starr came to visit me last night. I heard a knock on the door, I opened it and there he was! I recognized him right away, which kind of took him by suprise. I showed him around the apartment. I had Beatles pictures on the wall. He looked at them with bemusement. He was very nice, short, almost buddha-like.

It may be significant that of the four moptops, it was Ringo, one of two remaining living Beatles, not John, not George who came to pay a visit. Ringo was probably the most humble of the bunch, although George 'the mysterious one' seemed to be working on a saintly ('living in the material world') humbleness too.

The Beatles have been on my mind lately, their harmony, melody, their devotion to the 'love song,' make them stand out in the firmament. Their music was always a great example of the creative mind 'unbound.'

Ringo was the anchor, he laid down a solid foundation, he was the most 'grounded' of the group.

The dream kind of petered out, he was there and then he was gone.

What was said, did not seem important. Ringo came for a visit. We 'saw' eachother, two beings, two souls, 'two of us,' alive in our shiny human suits.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

The Life of the Mind. Or is it Shepard's 'Lie of the Mind?' Anyway, I'm thinking of the transcendance of imagination, collective unconscious, melody, harmony; of course, my new favorite word: grace.

Grace defined by Merton is -- the love of god. I'm aligned with Merton on the abstract, mysterious version of a supreme being. A being that is simply, totally, BEING. No need to be created out of something else, the simplicity of being. Like Van the Man says, 'there ain't no why, just IS.'

Instead of the big manifesto, the big IDEA, I'm thinking it's all as simple as light. The world a crystal; the light reflects, enhances, embodies, an infinite, multifaceted sparkle.

The sparkle of an eye. The sweet, innocent, laughter of a child. Joy at the ability to jump, shoot, score!

Our bodies, the material of life animated by this light. Or not. If not, MUD prevails. Revenge of the Lawn, Revenge of the Mud.

I choose Blake's 'energy is eternal delight,' the expansive, all encompassing energy of love. Within you and Without you.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The real test, is to be positive without really trying. All the best of life is invisible. Grace, love, joy, enthusiasm.

Everything in the world needs to be seen, touched, consumed, used, thrown away.

I believe in the tenuous, the insubstantial, the fleeting.

Not to chase after, but to let it come. Not to grasp, but to let go.

It is so easy to be misunderstood. In fact, I believe to be human means to be misunderstood, to misunderstand.

I think I'll meditate on that, to be on the lookout for trascendance in the raging cauldron of human bewilderment.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Catching up this morning. Feels like I'm a step slow. Went to a 'memorial day' party yesterday. I discussed the life of an artist/seeker with a man named, Howard. Howard is a sculptor, he used to cut George Hamilton's hair.

It was amazing what wasn't discussed, by anyone: politics, the world situation, it was all movies, weather, and in the case of Howard and myself: creativity, flow, enlightenment.

The 'soul killer's' were there too, but they were 'neutralized,' by cool responses. The key with such as these, is to not give anything away. People want to get together, to share their lives, share their experiences, but the 'killers' aren't happy unless something is 'extracted.'

I found a calm center and let it all wash over me. Howard and I created a little mutual vision which floated above the event like a warm little golden bubble. It split and followed Howard and I home.
A fine time indeed.

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